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Why has Dick Cheney been on the press circuit for a week, bragging about his involvement in waterboarding suspect terrorists, snooping into the correspondence and phone calls of millions of Americans, and making blood-curdling statements about tyrannical power that are, as Bart Gellman correctly notes, “even more radical than Nixon’s”? Could it be that he’s been promised a pardon for Christmas? At today’s press gathering, White House spokesman Tony Fratto was quick to alert the media to be prepared for more pardons. Nineteen further pardons were issued this afternoon, but more are on the way, and presidents since George Washington have saved their most controversial pardons for their last day in office.
What, exactly, did Dick Cheney do that needs pardoning? Well, there’s plenty besides the torture, the snooping, and the murky Halliburton dealings in Nigeria. Murray Waas has a remarkable scoop that may go overlooked in the holiday flurry: he offers up tidbits from the notes of FBI agents who interviewed Cheney in connection with Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe into the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. The bottom line—Dick Cheney played a central role in the process, and he’s still got plenty to be worried about.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”